Palo Alto homes are constructed in the midst of trees to take advantage of the aesthetic and environmental value of the shaded lots. Wooded properties can be worth as much as 20 percent more than those without trees, and people value the opportunity to live among trees.
Unfortunately, the processes involved with construction can be deadly to nearby trees. Unless the damage is extreme, the trees may not die immediately but could decline over several years. With this delay in symptom development, you may not associate the loss of the tree with the construction. Protection of city trees that have been growing in difficult conditions is an important priority, and preservation of the protected and other significant tree are an important economic and aesthetic value to the stakeholders.
It is possible to preserve trees on building sites if the right measures are taken. Overall measures have been prepared to assist you in this process and are contained in the City of Palo Alto Tree Technical Manual, Section 2.00 (Development & Trees) and Section 6.00 (Tree Reports). Typically, it is necessary to hire a professional site arborist during the planning stage to help you decide which trees can be saved, evaluate impacts, and prepare mitigation measures to protect the trees throughout each construction phase. The city usually requires these measures to become part of the development plan to ensure the best outcome for the property owner, neighborhood and city.